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ST. LOUIS–Only a few weeks after the Cardinals surprised the baseball world and their manager by dismissing the man who took the team to the playoffs in each of his full three seasons at the helm, Mike Shildt told a national television audience Tuesday his dismissal hit him ‘right between the eyes.”

Shildt’s comments on the MLB Network came as the National League announced its Manager of the Year. Shildt finished a distant third to the winner, San Francisco’s Gabe Kapler and the second-place finisher, Milwaukee’s Craig Counsell. He received one first place vote, three second place votes and eleven third place votes, for a total of 25.

In a brief interview before the winner was revealed, Shildt talked about the opportunity to act as a steward of the Cardinals’ legacy, in much the same way he did in a brief Zoom statement October 18, days after team officials cited philosophical differences for his dismissal. Shildt’s bench coach, Oliver Marmol, was named as his successor.

“There’s some pain I’ve got to work through and I am doing that,” Shildt said Tuesday night. “I’m a spiritual guy, faith-based. God didn’t want me to be there anymore and he’s gonna put me in a place where he wants me and I trust that.”

The New York Mets and the Oakland A’s are the only current Major League teams with managerial openings.

“I’ll land on my feet somewhere that makes sense and better days are still ahead.”